One bit of news before I begin is that I’m going to delay watching Symphogear for now. I haven’t given up on the series yet, so I’m going to keep an eye on it but I won’t watch it weekly like I am with every other anime. The reason for delaying Symphogear is largely because I really haven’t enjoyed the series at all given the characters, plot, and setting so far. I’m going to wait and see how the series progresses from here on out and then decide if I want to watch this anime or simply drop it altogether. So, for the next few weeks, you probably won’t see Symphogear here.
And now onto this past week of anime.
Another (Episode 2) – Okay Another, I’m going to voice a problem with your style of ‘horror’. Rather, it’s not really ‘horror’ if we you never tell us anything. You keep building up to these moments where we’re about to learn something that makes this town frightening or disturbing and then just stop. That doesn’t generate fear or create horror, it’s just an annoying tease. What’s even worse is if the teasing doesn’t back up the tension it’s trying to create essentially blowing the whole thing out of proportion or making these teases seem ridiculous. It’s going to be bad if we start to see these kids dying before understanding what everyone’s problem is. We need to know a bit of what’s going on to accept the horror of this anime or else they will just seem like unfortunate accidents rather than a ‘curse’ or some other horror cliché.
Brave 10 (Episode 3) – In order for a samurai anime to be a good samurai anime, it needs to use blood properly. Not too much and not too little. Needs to be symbolic of damage being dealt and not something gratuitous or meaningless. There needs to be work done for blood to come out. And it can’t simply vanish or disappear either. Considering those four aspects, Brave10 does a pretty respectable job with its bloodshed with this episode being the best example. Certainly it isn’t perfect and these conditions are on my preference alone but I doubt there are any serious complaints about the way the blood is used in this anime. Probably my favorite part was seeing Isanami bleed when she was hit across the face with that kusarigama. You never see heroines attack, let alone bleed in anime; they usually are reserved for roles of being captured, rescued and acting cute. Really helps put Isanami on a higher level seeing her go through these trials and abuse. Also was really happy to see the blood on the ground stay there for a few shots after Kamanosuke was slashed by Saizo. Hopefully the use of blood remains at about this consistency and quality throughout the series because it’s quickly becoming one of my favorite aspects of this anime.
Chihayafuru (Episode 15) – Now that we’re in a gap between tournaments, why not start on some character development for each of the cast members? I can imagine seeing an episode devoted to each of the three lesser club members, Kanade, Tsutomu, and Nishida and a couple spent on Taichi and Chihaya and Chihaya’s family before reaching the next tournament. But isn’t that kinda predictable? Won’t that break the flow of the series? You can tell I’m slightly concerned about what the anime will do between tournaments besides repeated episodes of training and character development. Chihayafuru has handled virtually everything flawlessly so far, so I’m not sure why I’m worrying but I am. I just hope that these next few episodes before the final tournament hold the same charm and excitement as these past few tournament episodes have had.
Future Diary (Mirai Nikki) (Episode 15) – Is it bad my favorite quality of our protagonist are all the crazy faces he makes throughout the anime? Literally, I love seeing Yukiteru’s face whenever something happens because it’s always so detailed, emotional, and overdramatic. You hardly see this with anyone else, Minene being the only one who comes to mind and she’s nowhere near Yukiteru’s level. I do feel bad for Yukiteru in these situations though because he becomes so overwhelmed with fear, anxiety, despair, and everything in between. His brain literally overloads during these scenes. He lacks any composure and always freaks out. And I love it, at least when we see these emotions so vividly on the screen.
Mouretsu Pirates (Bodacious Space Pirates) (Episode 3) – Despite having an insta-flood of schoolgirls in Mouretsu Pirates, there’s one member of the Space Yacht Club that always seems to stand out front and center among the thirteen of them. Ursula Abramov was introduced to us in the previous episode as the one girl who couldn’t fly properly in zero gravity, falling up the central shaft of the spacecraft. Since then she’s been shown quite frequently. During group shots, Ursula is placed in the center or around the main characters. When girls are placed in the backgrounds of shots, Ursula is often there or, if not in that specific shot, one of them in that scene. And when looking over the list of names on the screen of the crew that did the spacewalk, Ursula was first among the schoolgirls. Someone high up must really like Ursula, perhaps for her looks, her happy and active personality, her brief comical scene, or some combination of those three, which accounts for her number of appearances. Let’s see if this popularity for Ursula continues whenever we see the Space Yacht Club.
Persona 4 the Animation (Episode 15) – For an anime-only character, Aika is sure used quite frequently, even appearing when the anime takes a trip to the setting of Persona 3. It is rather strange to see an anime so dedicated to the original work have a character who was never in it be featured to the extent she is. Don’t get me wrong, Aika is one of my favorite characters in the anime simply due to her comedy and appearance, but I just find her placement strange given how everything else is incredibly accurate to the game and shows signs of obvious effort and careful planning. Hell, she’s been featured more than any of the social links I think. I suppose her purpose was to give a human representative of the Chinese Diner Aiya but she’s surpassed that and is frequently used in comedy, especially her delivery gags. Maybe someone planning this anime had a crush on Naoto (who can blame them?) and wanted to have someone with a soft voice and short, blue hair to be featured frequently in the beginning? Be fun to figure out why they made Aika for the anime and show her as often as they do.
Rinne no Lagrange (Episode 3) – Madoka is such a thoughtful (and stupid) person. In the heat of battle with an experienced and skillful mecha fighter, Madoka seemed to only be concerned with preventing all damage possible to the city she loves. Even during her hand-to-hand combat with the other mecha in the urban setting, she did her best to avoid damaging homes and businesses whenever possible. She went out of her way to make sure the nearby pedestrians did not turn into causalities. And she did this all with her happy-go-lucky (and stupid) attitude, complete with awful singing and her trademark “Maru!”. That’s what makes Madoka my favorite. It’s a relief to see someone show concern and help prevent damage to the city they love. Most mecha anime would have wanton destruction of the city without as much as a thought to what buildings or whose lives were now gone. Got to hand it to Rinne no Lagrange, it is becoming quite the mecha anime in a positive way.
Thermae Romae (Episodes 3+4) – Lucius is a genius. And by genius, I don’t mean simply copying modern Japanese bathing features for utilization in ancient Rome but rather he’s observant and resourceful. Think about it for a minute. While on his inexplicable trips through time and space, he is able to quickly recognize, analyze, and comprehend inventions and technology that are not only foreign in design but in concept, too. Take the wash cloth for example as something of another design. He’s seen people pour olive oil and sand over their bodies and use a scrap to be clean but never a durable cloth used for such a purpose. And the covers over the bath are an example of a different concept. No one in the ancient world thought to cover their baths with insulating material to keep the water from cooling quickly and rendering the water useless. Both of these are ideas that Lucius saw and immediately recognized their usefulness. And let’s not forget his resourcefulness either; he is able to take these ideas and find alternatives for use in Rome. He designs, constructs, and modified all these inventions himself with the resources available and does a pretty fine job given his situation. Though these concepts are not from Lucius himself, he is no less a genius since he is able to modify and construct everything given much less understanding, education, and resources. He may not be a creative genius but he is insightful and clever and able to bring these strange, new ideas to reality.